‘Extreme Paranoia’: May Pushes Ministers to Have Aides Loyal to Her

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 02: British Prime Minister Theresa May delivers a speech at Mansion House on March 2, 2018 in London, England. Theresa May sets out five tests for the future deal between the UK and the EU. She believes a broad and deep free trade agreement will be …
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Prime Minister Theresa May has been slammed for allegedly forcibly allocating key Cabinet ministers with aides who are personally loyal to her.

Parliamentary Private Secretaries (PPS) are sitting MPs who serve Cabinet ministers and act as a link between them and their department and other MPs in the Commons and on the backbenches.

Mrs May has reportedly moved to replace those of potentially rebellious ministers, some tipped to replace her, including the Home Secretary and the Secretary of State for Defence, who alleged reacted angrily to the changes, The Sun reports.

One minister told the newspaper: “It’s an act of extreme paranoia. All No10 can see is plots and people coming to get Theresa. They’re deep in the bunker.”

Defence secretary Gavin Williamson was said to be “furious” when Number 10 removed his outspoken former aide, Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, without warning when he was away in Afghanistan.

Ms Trevelyan was shifted to the Department for Education and replaced by MP Trudy Harrison at the Ministry of Defence, despite her having no experience in that policy area.

And Home Secretary Sajid Javid, a former favourite to replace Mrs May, was given Simon Hoare as his new aide – a man known to be loyal to the Prime Minister.

His former aide who was removed by Number 10, Tom Pursglove, was one of the MPs to resign in July in opposition to Mrs May’s plans for a “soft” Brexit known as the “Chequers” plan.

Meanwhile, two pro-Brussels Tory rebels were also given jobs as Parliamentary Private Secretaries.

The role is seen as the lowest form of governmental job, meaning those promoted to the position are not as free to be outspoken as backbenchers.

With Vicky Ford given the role at the Foreign Office and Paul Masterton joining the Home Office, both will be less free to attack Mrs May’s unpopular Brexit plan.

A Government source said Monday night: “PPS appointments are made on merit and we have a talented and experienced team.”

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